Polls now Closed in Turkish Elections

Election posters show Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan left and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Official results are to be announced in a few days.

Voting in Istanbul along with his son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan said he expected turnout to be strong in an indication of "how mature democracy is in Turkey".

However, Erdogan and his ruling party could befacing tougher competition than initially expected.

For an outright win in the presidential race, Erdogan needs more than 50 per cent of the vote to avoid a run-off on July 8.

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said challenger Muharrem Ince was in second place, with almost 29% of the vote.

The CHP leader is backed by the newly formed National Alliance, which along with secular social democrats, includes center-right conservatives, nationalist liberal conservatives, and conservative Islamists.

Mr Ince, whose fiery campaigning has revitalised Turkey's demoralised opposition, promised to push back what he characterised as a slide into authoritarian rule under Mr Erdogan.

The CHP said it had recorded violations in particular in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, although Erdogan insisted, after voting himself, there was no major problem.

He called surprise snap elections in April, more than 19 months ahead of schedule, in a move observers said aimed to preempt any challenge from the opposition.

"This stability must continue and that can happen with Erdogan so I voted for him", said janitor Mehmet Yildirim, 48, in Istanbul.

The three were on their way to a school used as a polling station when they tried to flee police, who were forced to fire their guns into the air to get them to pull over.

"Turkey is staging a democratic revolution", he told reporters in the polling station.

Its spokesman Bulent Tezcan said Anadolu was publishing a count of over 90 percent of votes while in fact short of 40 percent had been counted.

"Whatever they do, they are going to lose", Ince tweeted.

"I will protect your rights".

An unexpectedly strong showing by the AK Party´s alliance partner, the nationalist MHP, could translate into a stable parliamentary majority Erdogan seeks to govern freely.

But he reckoned without Ince, a former physics teacher and veteran CHP lawmaker, whose feisty performance at campaign rallies has galvanized Turkey's long-demoralized and divided opposition. "Fear will continue to reign", he told at least a million people gathered in Istanbul. "The security personnel will intervene once you ask them to do so".

He secured an executive presidency with sweeping powers, having been first elected 15 years ago. He remains popular with vast segments of the population.

Trailing were Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) with over eight percent in third and Meral Aksener of the nationalist (Iyi) Good Party with over seven percent. He denies the charges.

The elections complete Turkey's switch from a parliamentary democracy to an executive presidency, which was approved in a contested referendum past year.

More than 59 million Turkish citizens, including 3 million expatriates, were eligible to vote.

Polling stations are due to close at 5 p.m. local time on June 24.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Police make arrests in killing of Bronx teenager
Jun 25, 2018 - 09:01
The Inquistr reports that no one there did anything to protect the boy, nor did they immediately put in a call to the police. Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, of the Bronx, was stabbed and slashed multiple times including once in the neck.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Colombia feeling pressure of potential early World Cup exit
Jun 25, 2018 - 07:21
Mina's goal came late in the first half off a ideal cross from James Rodriguez . Poland played well for 15 minutes but then faded.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Russia 2018: Russia, Uruguay advance to Round of Sixteen
Jun 23, 2018 - 19:59
He missed it, the ball made its way through and an unmarked Suarez tapped it inside the empty goal to hand Uruguay the lead.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tite: Neymar is still a work in progress
Jun 23, 2018 - 19:26
The world's most expensive player was making just his fourth appearance after breaking a bone in his foot in February. He was out three and a half months and he played the full match.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra make their relationship Instagram official
Jun 23, 2018 - 19:16
According to people .com, the pair is now visiting Priyanka's mother here, as the actress wanted Jonas to "meet her mom ". They stepped out for a dinner date as PeeCee's mother Madhu Chopra and brother Siddharth Chopra also joined them.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The priest during the baptism cheered on a baby’s face (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Jun 23, 2018 - 18:32
The parents or god-parents of the child look to be in disbelief as the priest begins to pull the child close to him once again. Before she struck, the master of ceremonies addressed directly to the child, urging him to calm down .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hazard and Lukaku at the double as five-star Belgium thrash Tunisia
Jun 23, 2018 - 18:28
Tunisia captain Wahbi Khazri got his team's second with nearly the last kick of the match. With half-time approaching, the Belgians grabbed their third goal.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Top bitcoin exchange says over $30 million in cryptocurrencies stolen
Jun 23, 2018 - 17:45
Bitcoin was up 4 percent to 7.42 million won as of 2:20 p.m. while Etherum was up 5 percent to 591,500 won, according to Bithumb. As I've said many times, be smart and only keep on exchange coins that you are actively trading.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Obama calls for end to the ‘cruelty’ of family separations
Jun 22, 2018 - 23:15
Instinctively combative and fond of chaos, Trump usually digs in on controversial policies, rather than backing down. Trump dug in, saying Tuesday in a series of tweets that the separation policy was vital to keeping Americans safe.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ahmed Musa’s double downs Iceland as Nigeria come alive
Jun 22, 2018 - 23:15
The penalty was awarded after a video review showed that Alfred Finnbogason had been brought down by Tyronne Ebuehi. Others said that Musa had actually served Messi's World Cup cause more than his Argentinian teammates.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Cavs, Suns in mix for Spurs' Leonard
Jun 21, 2018 - 06:35
The Lakers do have young players to offer, though the Spurs may not be interested in a package that includes Lonzo Ball . Sending Kawhi off to work under James Dolan would also fulfill any potential desire for revenge that might rest in R.C.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Three players worth trading up for in the draft
Jun 21, 2018 - 06:06
It's unsurprising to hear then that one team in the top three picks of the draft is looking at taking him. In doing so he averaged 14.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists in 25 minutes over 61 total games.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Uruguay v Saudi Arabia, Group A
Jun 21, 2018 - 05:22
Pizzi denied reports that Saudi officials had vetoed four players from the starting lineup on Wednesday. "That's what I know". However, a Saudi Arabia victory will make the final group game for them and Uruguay the determining factor for advancing.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top South Korea called the main common goal with Russian Federation
Jun 21, 2018 - 05:18
South Korea and the U.S. have been conducting combined routine training for years to prepare for a possible attack from the North. Since Trump's announcement , the Pentagon has not been able to provide an estimate of the cost of the annual military exercises.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sweden beats South Korea with VAR penalty
Jun 21, 2018 - 04:53
South Korea had barely threatened, but Hwang Hee-chan missed a gilt-edged chance when he headed wide in extra-time. South Korea is one of the weakest teams in the FIFA World Cup 2018, and their recent record is particularly poor.